I was born and raised in a small northern California town and was first introduced to international travel through trips to Mexico with my family. I began my travels through Asia in high school, going sightseeing in China and living for a year in Taiwan. As a college student, I returned to mainland China for a semester and am back in Taiwan for the sixth time, this time with CSU-IP, where I will study at NTU for a year. As a Chinese major, it is critical for me to immerse myself in the Chinese language and culture as much as possible, so it is a pleasure to be back in Taiwan.
Taipei 101, the iconic image of Taipei, and the world's tallest building, is also the #1 travel destination in Taiwan. This photo is a shot from the NTU campus.
Arguably the #2 destination for travelers in Taiwan is the beautiful Toroko Gorge. The scenic gorge is a great getaway from the chaotic cities in the north, and is located on the secluded eastern coast. This national park boasts numerous temples, hiking trails, picturesque views, and wild monkeys.
The most rewarding parts of my time abroad are the many wonderful friendships I have made. Here, celebrating the coming new year, my roommates, our cat, and I, all enjoy our homemade hot pot, a classic dish in Taiwan. We got carried away in celebrating the new year and spent over $100 US on the ingredients, which included a variety of meat, seafood, vegetables, and some other goodies only found in Taiwan.
With new friends as well as old, my birthday became an all-weekend celebration! Here is a picture of one night with a small group of friends enjoying one of the many delicious restaurants Taipei has to offer.
One of my favorite spots to visit in Taiwan is the small resort town of Kenting at the southernmost tip of the island. Here, one can relax in the sun, swim at the best beach in Taiwan, hike in the surrounding jungle or shop on the main strip.
Centered in the city lies another one of Taipei's many landmarks, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. It is surrounded by the grand entrance gate to the giant center plaza, the National Theater, and the National Concert Hall. All of these structures are particularly special and are a great place to take pictures.
All holidays are welcome here in Taiwan! Although I do not particularly look forward to Halloween as some do, I couldn't resist dressing up and partaking in the fun at the largest Halloween party in all of Asia, which hosted over 10,000 people and is only found here in Taiwan!
Like Halloween, Christmas, although not as popular as in the United States, is also celebrated here in Taiwan. During the holiday season, the main shopping district of Taipei has an incredible amount of Christmas trees in all sizes, icicle lights, Christmas displays, and carolers lining the streets.
Here is one of the unique architectural features from my favorite temple in Hualian, the largest city on the eastern coast. Temples can be found in every city and even small towns all throughout Taiwan and are an important part of life in Taiwan.
Taiwan is an innovative and creative country in many aspects, especially when it comes to food. This is a traditional Taiwanese lunch of different vegetables, tea, eggs, pork belly, sausage, an assortment of other sides, and of course, white rice.
Learn more about the study abroad program in Taiwan